Psychologist Tips to Cope With Nationwide Grief

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 14:57:36-04

There’s a profound amount of grief in this country right now. The pain and loneliness brought about from the Coronavirus, stacked on top of the emotions felt after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

As we continue to Rebound across the nation and in South Florida, we speak to a psychologist to discuss how to cope and sort through these trying times.

“It’s very acceptable to feel stressed and worried because it’s the unknown and we don’t have a clear cut answer,” said Reena.

Reena Patel is a psychologist and board certified behavior analyst.

She says, with anxiety at an all-time high, it is important now more than ever to step back and reduce your stress levels.

“Writing down the things that stress you out, open your heart, be honest with yourself. For every one thing that you write that’s very stressful, write two things that you’re grateful for,” said Reena.

For the past two months, people across South Florida have dealt with loss. From the loss of their loved ones to the loss of their income all due to COVID-19.

And now, a new heartache is being felt here and across the country.

Thousands of people participated in rallies over the weekend, marching together to voice their concerns over the death of George Floyd. The images are both peaceful and violent, adding to the already emotional state of our country.

“They say it’s an unprecedented time, it’s almost cliche at this point but I feel like it’s the only way to put it into words. It’s such a chaotic time for the world. It’s not just one specific community or country,” said Alex.

Alex Powers participated in one of the protests. He says despite everything happening with the pandemic, there is another battle the world is facing.

"Many people have been outraged particularly by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, among the countless of other lives seen or unseen that have been lost due to racism," added Alex.

But how do you deal with the emotional stress of it all? Renee says it’s important to stay in touch with your loved ones and take some time for yourself.

“That heaviness that we feel in our chest is some form of anxiety. It's very natural to feel this secondary emotion because of what's going on. So one of my big tips is find time for yourself. Spend some time outside. Many of our communities are starting to go out. Model the expectations the behaviors you want to see others doing. This does include children too. Children are sponges. We want them to practice these behaviors, positive skills, to take care of those around us and they’ll do the same,” said Reena.

Dr. Patel specializes in child psychology, so for parents who need help on educating and speaking to their children during this difficult time, you can find her videos on parenting tips on her social media platforms.